Half Truths

Washington MonumentIntentionally telling less than the whole truth, purposeful deception

A half-truth is a whole lie. Yiddish Proverb

It is twice as hard to crush a half-truth as a whole lie. Unknown Author

A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies. Mark Twain

  The spreading of half truths causes untold harm to the lives of many. If it were classified as a disease or sickness it might be listed in the top ten for eradication. If the effort for eliminating half truths became a national cause, it might rival such causes as globing warming or cruelty to animals. Half-truths and all forms of distorted truth are scourges.

A most glaring and blatant use of half truths is in politics, followed closely by tactics used in the world of advertising. National and local elections have become sordid by the telling of half truths; we are compromised, polluted and poisoned because we do not require that the pure truth is told. We allow candidates to use carefully orchestrated miss-truths as well as half-truths. Whoever employs the “best” negative advertising often gain the advantage. Purposefully distorting facts to get our attention is the heart and soul of negative campaigning. This is very effective because “we the people” allow it to be. We know better.

Much of what we see and hear in advertising media is half truths designed to tell us only enough to draw us in, get our attention and then our money. Some advertising is designed to heighten desires by careful using highly inflated and distorted benefits. Deceptive advertising is bait on a hook enticing and luring us in.

Those proclaiming the demise of society are telling the truth when it comes to the present status of such things as ethics, morals, work ethic, integrity and honesty. It is like a slow and persistent cancer eating away at our moral fabric. It is there because we allow it to be. As youngsters we were told that one of the dangers of lying is telling one lie often leads to another. Lies beget lies. When lying becomes the norm it is hard to discern truth from untruth. The “buck naked” truth of this is: Telling half-truths is nothing but a form of lying.

We are responsible and accountable for how we live and conduct our lives.  We can choose to hold ourselves to high standards and principles and be good influences to those around us or not. It is a matter of choosing to do what is right even if others around us are choosing to do something less. We should hold ourselves and others accountable for telling the whole truth.

Challenge: Have you ever told a half truth? Knowingly doing this is using deception and is a form of lying. When tempted to tell half truths, ask yourself what is your motive for purposefully distorting the truth. Is it to hurt, gossip, embarrass or gain an advantage?  Hopefully, you have a sense of “guilty conscience” under such circumstances. Try to hold yourself more accountable to taking the high road and doing the right thing.

Wisdom: It makes all the difference in the world whether we put truth in the first place, or in the second place. – John Morley

Spiritual: (NIV)

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. Isaiah 2:3

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt: 6:33

The Bible tells us that the truth will set us “free”. The corollary of this is that lies or untruths make us captives or slaves. If we are tied to the secular world and its ways and do not have God in our lives advising us and showing us the truth, we will find it very difficult to be free. Many live lives of delusion. It is easy to be led astray, down the wrong path; in the shadows and caught up in compromise and deceit. God is truth and can be nothing less.

Prayer:  Help me to know the truth and to have the strength to live by it. Help me to learn and to grow.


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